Fantasy Central: Week 9

Fantasy Central: Week 9

It’s year three with Gymlytics fantasy college gymnastics in 2024! We all learned lessons last year when GymChem took up the helm and created her revamped game, and we’re ready for a fun 2024.

Our weekly cadence will continue to match Gymlytics: The fantasy “week” begins with Friday meets, ends with any Thursday ones, and trading happens every Monday via waiver wire. You’ll find us here every Tuesday talking about “next week,” meaning the fantasy week starting that Friday.

This is your one-stop-shop for all things fantasy each week. We’ll be tracking injuries, byes and double headers, and giving you tips and tricks to put forward your best possible team.

What a whirlwind! Week eight saw tight competition at the Big Fives, some high-profile injuries, and a slew of first-of-the-year 198s from big teams like Alabama, Florida, Utah, and UCLA. Additionally, Oklahoma had a program-record and Clemson achieved a program-first 197. If you were wondering, yes, Friday was a full moon. We’ll blame the weird falls and sudden rash of injuries on that. (Ask your friendly neighborhood ER nurses; it’s not a myth.)

For this week, there are a lot of fun out-of-conference matchups on the schedule, and a lot of doubles as teams try to pile on the late-season away meets to bolster NQS numbers. Nearly every Big Ten squad is hosting a quad, or attending one. We have senior nights galore, and a few SEC grudge matches left. 

Michigan heads to Oklahoma for a now-annual dual, LSU is at home facing Alabama, while Georgia is in Stegeman versus Auburn. Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State, Oregon State, N.C. State, Sacramento State, Kent State, and Boise State are all home.  

Injury Updates Since Last Week

  • Added: Ciena Alipio (UCLA): Crutches, right knee/leg injury
  • Added: Makarri Doggette (Alabama): Left foot and scooter
  • Added: Payton Richards (Florida): Right ankle injury
  • Added: Kaylyn Mintz (Ohio State): Left knee injury
  • Added: Jojo Warga (Ohio State): Left foot boot and crutches
  • Removed: Isabella Kowan (Arizona State)
  • Removed: Chae Campbell (UCLA)

Week 9 Byes & Doubles

Byes: Alaska, Centenary, Fisk, Greenville, LIU, UW-La Crosse, UW-Oshkosh, UW-Stout

Doubles: Air Force, BYU, Bowling Green, Illinois, Kent State, Maryland, New Hampshire, N.C. State, Oklahoma, Penn, San Jose State, Southern Utah, Temple, Towson, Utica, Washington, West Virginia

Experts Say

This week, we polled editors about Makarri Doggette’s absence in the Alabama bar lineup. Assuming she’s out long term, 16 weighed in on who they think is most likely to fill her spot.

Most editors believe Shania Adams will be in the lineup. Natalia Pawlak received the second-most votes, followed by Gabby Gladieux and Lilly Hudson, who hasn’t competed bars in 2024 but was a 2023 staple.

Data Corner

Once again we have data editor Dara joining us for Fantasy Central each week. She’ll be breaking down the numbers for you with notes on routine hit rate, lineup appearance frequency, and breakout performances to keep an eye on.

Hit Rate: The following underclassmen have gotten solid starts to their collegiate careers, recording perfect hit rates (i.e., no score below a 9.750) thus far:

  • Vault: Lauren Williams has posted scores of at least 9.775 in all 21 of her appearances for Arkansas, with a career average of 9.867.
  • Bars: Towson sophomore Isabella Minervini has performed 24 hit routines, highlighted by back-to-back scores of 9.975 in the last two weeks. Moreover, she earned scores of 9.825 or better in 22 of her routines.
  • Beam: Freshman Brynlee Anderson has hit all eight of her routines for BYU thus far, including a career high 9.950 (with a 10.0 from one judge) this week.
  • Floor: Noelle Adams has been rock solid for the Cyclones in her first eight collegiate routines, with no score below a 9.825. She currently averages 9.888, with a high of 9.950 coming this past weekend.

Lineup Frequency: Fifth-year Hannah Scharf has never missed a meet on vault. She has 58 appearances on the event, hitting in 91.4% of them. Cassidy Rushlow has competed 56 routines on bars since 2020, having sat out for just one meet in her career back in January 2022. She has a career average of 9.810 across all her routines, and an average of 9.858 across all her hit routines. Senior Lauren Macpherson has made every beam lineup since her freshman year, tallying an average of 9.807 across her 37 routines (9.846 across hit routines). Gayla Griswold currently has 57 career performances on floor. She has appeared in the floor lineup in all seven of Lindenwood’s meets this season, with a season low of 9.850 on the event.

Breakout Performances: Texas Woman’s transfer Kaitlyn Hoiland has found her footing on vault in the last two meets, posting back-to-back scores of 9.875 to match her career high set earlier in January. Lyden Saltness earned a career high 9.975 at Big Fives on Friday after being kept out of the bar lineup in the first three meets of the season. On beam, LIU’s Cael Bixler posted a 9.900 on Monday, followed by a 9.975 on Sunday, to improve on her previous career-high of 9.875 scored back in 2022. Freshman Retoshia Halsell notched a 9.975 against LIU and Temple, building on her two preceding scores of 9.800 and 9.875.

Starts & Sits for Week 9

This is the spot to find your sleeper picks, your two- or three-eventers and your solutions for those big bye weeks. We’ll also comment on the big names when relevant: Injuries, lineup absences, or inconsistency.

Vault: Alabama’s vault lineup without Doggette is a little more cut-and-dry. Karis German and  Jamison Sears seem likely to both be in this lineup moving forward, after shuffling for each other on occasion. Soroya Hawthorne blasted a Yurchenko one and a half in exhibition for Oklahoma. It’s possible we’ll see her compete soon, although KJ Kindler has stuck to the same six all season.

Bars: Alex Irvine’s 9.900 bars exhibition was higher than both Maddie Anyimi and Margzetta Frazier’s lineup scores. It’s possible we’ll see Irvine in for Anyimi next week; though, as was pointed out on Twitter, the score seemed generous. Abby Paulson stepped in on bars for the Utes for the first time since 2022 for a 9.775; perhaps she’s the long-term answer to Amelie Morgan’s absence.

Beam: Annie Beard popped into beam in place of Alexis Jeffrey for LSU last week. Jeffrey has both a higher ceiling and higher average, so it seems likely she’ll reclaim her spot; perhaps she just had a tough one-touch. Jojo Warga’s injury appeared serious; her beam spot has previously been filled by Courtney McCann and Samara Buchanan. Both have had misses, but have great potential. It’s hard to say who Meredith Paulicivic will slot in here next week at home.

Floor: Danie Ferris warmed up floor last week. She could slide in here after Payton Richards’ apparent injury. It’s also very possible that Morgan Hurd will pop back in. Chloe Widner suddenly reemerged in Stanford’s beam and floor lineups for a 9.975 and 9.925. Assuming she’s at full health, she’ll certainly remain here the rest of the year. We’re not sure what exactly is going on with Malia Hargrove; she was seen in a boot, but appears to have taken it off at some point and is visible without it on in some social media highlights. Perhaps it’s preventative and she was resting this week?

Waiver Wire Wrap-up

Finally, we have a waiver wire in gymnastics! Who should you prioritize this week? Since Fantasy Central comes out on Wednesdays, keep in mind that these tips are catered toward next week.

Vault: Northern Illinois’ Dawsyn Sallee is the picture of consistency: she has scored a 9.825 or 9.850 on each of her last four vaults. She put up a 9.925 on floor last week, too. Sydney Beers is Cornell’s premier vaulter; she has a 9.900 high and 9.811 average.

Bars: With Malia Hargrove out, Tirzah Wise stepped in on vault and bars. She scored a 9.875 on the latter, and is an intriguing option here. Air Force’s Ayla McKean is an emerging bar star: she put up a 9.900 last week, and her two previous numbers were a 9.875 and 9.850.

Beam: George Washington’s Maya Peters had a bit of a rocky start on beam; she took a week off, and has had a 9.925 and a 9.850 the past two weeks, so she seems to have settled in. Ally Lau has been a consistent beamer for Illinois State, with five 9.825s over her eight 2024 appearances.

Floor: Denver freshman Maddison Reidenbach has really settled in; she scored her first 9.900 last week on floor, and has been a consistent vaulter. Yalie Ella Tashjan continues to be a strong and consistent floor worker. She has two 9.900s and two 9.875s this year.

READ THIS NEXT: The Dismount: Week 8

Article by Emily Minehart and Dara Tan.

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